Vladimir Kozlov

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Oleg Prudius
Ring name(s) Alexander Kozlov
Oleg Prudius
Vladimir Kozlov[1]
Billed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)[1]
Billed weight 302 lb (137 kg)[1]
Born April 27, 1972 (1972-04-27) (age 42)
Ukraine Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union[2]
Billed from Moscow, Russia[1]
Trained by DSW Training staff
OVW Training staff
Debut 2005

Oleg Aleksandrovich Prudius (born April 27, 1972[source?]) is a Ukrainian American professional wrestler, also known by his ring name Vladimir Kozlov. He is currently signed to Inoki Genome Federation.[3] He also worked for WWE from 2006 to 2011. He is trained in freestyle wrestling, rugby, American football, sambo, kickboxing, judo, and mixed martial arts.[4]

Prudius has also worked as a stage and screen actor, having a small part in Spike Lee's 25th Hour.[4] Kozlov also had a role in Grindhouse, appearing in the "Werewolf Women of the SS" trailer; he was credited under his real name and his WWE persona for the appearance. He is a former Ohio Valley Wrestling Heavyweight Champion.

On December 8, 2009, Prudius became a United States citizen.[5]

Career[change | change source]

Pre-wrestling[change | change source]

Prudius has won numerous achievements, becoming the 2005 USA Open Heavyweight Sambo Champion and a United States Kick-Boxing Association (USKBA) International Heavyweight Grappling Champion. He has also played American football for the Ukrainian National Team as well as Santa Barbara City College.[1]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2005)[change | change source]

Prudius accompanied Jerry Jarrett to the ring at Slammiversary in 2005.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2006-2011)[change | change source]

Kozlov entering the arena during a match on February 25, 2008

On January 17, 2006, World Wrestling Entertainment announced that Prudius had signed a developmental deal and was sent to Deep South Wrestling.[6] On April 7, 2006 he started wrestling under his real name "Oleg Prudius" and had his first match in DSW against Tommy Suede.

On May 5, 2006, Prudius had his first untelevised WWE match during a house show in San Jose, California, defeating Rob Conway. The next night, at another house show in Sacramento, California, Matt Striker cut a promo on Prudius, calling him a "filthy immigrant," causing Prudius to attack him. Prudius then picked up the microphone and said he that he is "proud to be in America."

On the December 18, 2006 episode of Raw, Prudius made an appearance as a WWE prospect named Vladimir Kozlov, which became his ring name. For the next several weeks, Kozlov was interviewed on WWE programming, proclaiming his love for "Double Double E" (WWE), but drawing some heel heat for declaring his superiority over whatever wrestlers were competing at the time.

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2007-2008)[change | change source]

On July 28, 2007 in Louisville, Kentucky, he won the OVW Heavyweight Championship by defeating Paul Burchill, but gave up the Championship the same night to Michael W. Kruel due to an agreement they made before.

SmackDown (2008-2010)[change | change source]

On the April 4, 2008 episode of SmackDown, Kozlov made his official WWE debut as a villain, with the unique quirk of having no entrance music and no TitanTron video – his "entrance" consisted of complete darkness except for a spotlight following him to the ring. He defeated Matt Bentley in his first match,[7] and over the following weeks, Kozlov would win a series of matches. On the July 11, 2008 airing of SmackDown, Kozlov debuted an entrance theme and TitanTron video as he defeated Stevie Richards.[8]

In the following weeks, as Kozlov continued to easily win matches, he began demanding "better competition". On the September 12, 2008 edition of SmackDown, he attacked Jeff Hardy. Over the following weeks, Kozlov would continue attacking both Hardy and the WWE Champion Triple H, eventually starting a loose rivalry between the three of them over the WWE title. Kozlov earned a match against Triple H for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series by defeating The Undertaker by disqualification on the November 6 episode of SmackDown. Edge was added to the match while it was in progress, and pinned Triple H to win the match. This is because Jeff Hardy was originally supposed to compete, but was found unconscious in a Boston stairwell. At Armageddon, Kozlov gained his first pay-per-view win by defeating then-ECW Champion Matt Hardy in a non-title match. Kozlov competed in the 2009 Royal Rumble match, entering number 6, but was eliminated by Triple H after eliminating three other superstars including The Great Khali, MVP, and Carlito.

Other media[change | change source]

Prudius has made many television appearances. He appeared in the second season of the HBO drama series The Wire, as well as Roksalana and It's Not To Easy on Ukrainian TV.[4] In 2002, he appeared in Spike Lee's film 25th Hour, playing a Russian mafia enforcer.[4] He appeared in the Russian military theatre play Victory Day and a Ukraine University play Three Musketeers.[4]

In wrestling[change | change source]

  • Nicknames
    • "The Moscow Mauler"
    • "The Ruthless Russian"
    • "The Russian Wrangler"

Championships and accomplishments[change | change source]

Martial arts[change | change source]

Professional wrestling[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]